Genre: Drama Running Time: 1 hr. 38 min.
Release Date: April 24th, 2009 MPAA Rating: R
Director: Gregor Jordan Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, Mickey Rourke, Jon Foster, Amber Heard
espicable people doing reprehensible things can sometimes be entertaining. But “The Informers” fails to engage, through the examination of too many characters, none of who invoke any empathy, sympathy, pity, or any other emotion expected from a downward spiraling drama about lost souls, set amidst the rambunctious ‘80s. Compounding the lack of intrigue is a storyline that is all introduction and setup, leaving the audience waiting for a third act that never comes. “The Informers” does dissect many of the clichés of social classes, but for all the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, there’s still an overwhelming tediousness to the futile redemptions.
Multiple lives are explored during the early ‘80s, from the rich and famous to the desperate and despondent, all stripped bare by the unglamorous addiction to perpetual self-destruction. William (Billy Bob Thornton) is a powerful movie producer, unfaithful to his equally adulterous wife Laura (Kim Basinger), and fickle in his decision to reunite with her as he pines for newscaster Cheryl (Winona Ryder). Their son Graham (Jon Foster) endlessly parties with his girlfriend Christie (Amber Heard) and their mutual friend Martin (Austin Nichols), though he is first to realize the loss of intimacy in their flagrant promiscuity. Lead singer of popular rock band The Informers, Bryan Metro’s (Mel Raido) constant indulgence in mind-shattering decadency has all but eradicated his sense of morality. Tim (Lou Taylor Pucci) attempts to connect with his estranged father in a paradisiacal locale. And hotel doorman Jack (Brad Renfro) must cope with a surprise visit from dangerous criminal Peter (Mickey Rourke). Though all are not immediately connected, each life shares a similar struggle to grasp the last shreds of humanity, which they have all but forsaken.
“The Informers” seems to say that indulgence in drugs, alcohol, sex, and leisure can lead to a path of self-destructive horror. For the wayward characters presented in the film that partake in an orgy of decadence, there is no hope for redemption or purification. It is nonstop, free-spirited extravagance that bewitches the major parties in “The Informers,” and a sinking realization that order cannot be reacquired for the dysfunction that saturates the estranged families.
The whole film seethes with dark despondency, failing to present any comic relief or bright moments amongst the desperate criminals, unprotected lovers, and uncontrollable rock stars. Rampant with random acts of debauchery, a total lack of supervision (which Graham practically begs for), and unexplainable violence, “The Informers” suffers from a dire need of significance. With too many characters, representing the top and bottom of 1980s Los Angeles life, along with inconsequential dialogue and relations to fill in the gaps, the reasons behind any of the characters or their multiple narrative subplots are painfully obscure. Much is explored but nothing is explained. It is impressive, however, that the large cast of familiar faces agreed to participate in a film that struggles so desperately to get to the point.
– The Massie Twins